Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (375ML half-bottle) 2015  Front Label
Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (375ML half-bottle) 2015  Front Label

Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (375ML half-bottle) 2015

  • JD97
  • RP95
375ML / 14.1% ABV
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375ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

It doesn’t take much time in the glass to reveal the ripeness of the vintage. Dried cherries, baking spices, and vanilla intermingle with softer notes of espresso bean, pipe tobacco, and lavender. The 2015 steers toward dark fruit with plenty of blackberry jam and plums slowly yielding to intense, vibrant tannins and bright acid. A touch of smoke punctuates the midpalate revealing anise and cocoa, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. Within a few moments rhubarb appears as do dried ginger and black pepper. Additional ageing time is undoubtedly necessary to reveal the potential of this wine. The finish ties both the nose and palate together with fresh raspberries, a subtle hint of mint, and incredible freshness.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a brilliant wine and one of the gems out there from this estate. It offers crème de cassis, crushed violets, purple iris, and white flowers, with beautifully integrated background oak. It’s deep, rich, medium to full-bodied, and seamless, with fine tannins, truly brilliant purity of fruit, and a great, great finish.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate reveals vibrant cassis, crushed black plums and black raspberries notes with hints of fallen leaves, damp soil, cedar chest and charcoal plus a waft of lavender. Medium-bodied with plenty of lively, crunchy black and red fruits, it has a firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins and a long, youthful finish with the oak still standing out slightly. Give it another 2-3 years in bottle and drink it over the next 25-30+.
Rating:95+
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Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena

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Chateau Montelena, California
Chateau Montelena The estate at Chateau Montelena Winery Image

Chateau Montelena’s history is one of the deepest and most storied in the Napa Valley and California. Founded just north of Calistoga by a senator and San Francisco entrepreneur in 1882 at the turn of the century, it was one of the largest wineries in the state. Prohibition put an end to Montelena’s winemaking, and the next major era began in 1968, when Jim Barrett purchased the estate. Jim fell in love with this exceptional property, blessed with a complex mix of soils, slopes and biodiversity of wildlife and fauna. He had a dream of creating wine at the level of the great First Growths of Bordeaux, and set about replanting the vineyard, outfitting the winery with modern equipment, and studying the processes necessary for farming and winemaking at the highest quality level.

In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year a who’s-who of the French wine and food establishment gathered for a grand tasting at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Paris. Four white Burgundies were tasted against six California Chardonnays. When the scores were tallied, the French Judges were convinced that the top-ranking white wine was one of their own. In fact, it was Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay, rated above all other wines. This seminal event has been memorialized in the book "The Judgment of Paris," by George Taber, as well as in the 2008 feature film Bottle Shock.

Today Chateau Montelena’s distinct 19th century stone structure stands as a quality icon in Napa Valley, consistently producing some of the finest wines in California. Master Winemaker Bo Barrett, Jim’s son, now runs the estate with the help of Winemaker Matt Crafton and Vineyard Manager Dave Vella.

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One of Napa Valley’s oldest wine growing subregions but last to gain appellation status, Calistoga occupies the northernmost section of the valley. Beginning at the foot of Mount St. Helena, its vineyards stretch over steep canyons and roll out onto the valley floor. The soils in Calistoga are volcanic, which means they are heavy in minerals, low in organic matter and allow good drainage for vine roots, creating less green growth and more concentration of flavor within the grape berries.

Summer days are very hot but most nights cool down with moist ocean breezes sneaking in over the Mayacamas Mountains or from Knights Valley to its northwest.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the area’s star variety with Zinfandel coming in a strong second, though the latter commands far less price per tonnage so continues to be outshined by Cabernet in vineyard acreage, save for some important exceptions.

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.

VNT00700115_20_2015 Item# 532737

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